San Antonio experienced a level of homicides not seen in the Alamo City for 20 years. Police officials said they have investigated 151 homicides in the past year, up from 94 in 2015.
During the 1990s, San Antonio experienced two spikes in reported homicides, the Associated Press reported. In 1995, the Alamo City experienced 142 homicides, but earlier that decade, the city set a record with 220.
The city’s police chief, William McManus, told a local newspaper that about 25 percent of the deaths occurred in spontaneous acts. These are “really difficult” to explain said Chief McManus, the AP reported. The chief said that about 40 percent of these deaths were connected to drugs, family members, or other acquaintances.
No report was give as to the number of homicides that were solved in 2016. The chief said that information will be released in a report later this month.
One of those homicides was carried out against one of San Antonio’s own police officers. Detective Benjamin Marconi, 50, was working overtime hours in a patrol vehicle and stopped a woman for a traffic violation, Breitbart Texas reported. While he was sitting in his patrol car, near the downtown police station, Otis Tyrone McKane allegedly walked up to his car and shot him two times–killing him instantly.
McKane was arrested after a 30-hour manhunt, during which time he stopped to get married. While being escorted by police from court to a jail cell, McKane told reported he shot the officer because “I was upset.” He said he had been having problems related to a child custody issue.
Marconi was one of 140 law enforcement officers to die in the line of duty during 2016. A total of 64 officers were killed by gunfire, many of those in “ambush-style” attacks like the one that claimed Marconi’s life.